May 24-28

Posted by Nancy Wollum on 5/29/2021

Happy End-of-May Everyone!

As you can imagine with our beautiful weather and anticipation of summer, the kids are in high energy mode and yet, most continue to demonstrate an active engagement in class activities with focused work and class participation...very impressive! This seems especially true in our How We Express Ourselves study and in math; we are able to now work together in small groups which may be contributing to the continued excitment for learning. Or it could be the interest in the content (nature's design and animal/plant adaptations; fractions). Whatever it may be, it is a joy to have so much interest, curiosity, and positive participation from the students just days away from the end of the year!


We had some special events this week at which your children shone! 


Otter Creek Audubon Society respresentatives, Kathy and Gary Starr, came for a morning visit in the tent. They brought bird 'parts' for the students to explore within the theme of Form with Function. Gary is a professional bird carving artist and brought some blanks of his ornaments; students expressed their creative sides with original bird ornaments of their own. (They also created really beautiful 'bird-themed' thank you cards for our visitors!) I hope your student has shared their new knowledge of John James Audubon and his contribution as an early American naturalist explorer.


We observed Memorial Day on Friday with a beautiful ceremony outside with presentations from each class. Your students were impressive in their original 'Memorial Day Haikus/Meditation Flags' presentation to the school; they were professional in their public speaking and respect for the event.  Big thank you to Mr. Lenox for encouraging the time for  study and observation of this important day and to all the other classes for their informative and creative contributions.


With all of our focus on the natural world right now, I hope your students are sharing their new awareness with you about the natural 'magic' happening right now in our own backyards! We have been looking at the specifics of plants: pollination and purpose of flowers (we dissected a peony blossom to find the reproductive parts), how seeds travel, and purpose of plant structures. We have explored mimicry in plants and animals for safety and reproduction purposes.  This week we will delve into biomimicry and start exploring the consistent designs found in nature.


MATH: Fraction comparisons and connections to 'the whole' - whether in fraction strips, money, food, even paper folding - was our concluding math theme this week. Understanding equality of divisions and value of the size of a part (1/4 is smaller than 1/3 even though the whole number 4 is bigger than a 3) are challenging concepts and will continue to be built upon in coming years.  We also continue to explore area models connecting repeated addition to an introduction to multiplication.


WRITING:  We are finishing our narratives. We are writing in response to our reading; learning to respond to comprehension questions with deep thinking, details from the text, and complete sentences.


Hopefully, you found the new form of the class assignments chart this week useful. Thank you for your suggestions on scaffolding; it inspired this new format. The children seemed to find it very productive; one student noticed..."this is helping us get Friday Fun!" With the mini-goals/outdoor rewards of daily completed classwork; students, on the whole, improved on focused work in class with the more 3 hours of independent work time provided over the course of the week. They are showing real commitment to and pride in their independence in learning. There is no homework other than the daily Guided Reading expectations (or pleasure reading, of course!)


Enjoy your long weekend!  Please keep me informed on anything you feel might be important to your student in our final days together.  Your contributions are invaluable!